Archive for the ‘Songs’ Category

It’s Friday again! We hope you had a great week and that the weekend matches! For those of you who missed Bastion’s cover songs in his Valentine’s Week series, here are their blog entries:

1. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
2. “The One I Love” by David Gray
3. “Hold On” by Tom Waits
4. “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls
Or you can click here to go our YouTube page.

Bastion:

As promised, here’s a new (for those of you who’ve missed our last two concerts) song called “Remember to Breathe,” which I just wrote a few months ago!

“Remember to Breathe” by GRACE@ARMS

Milo:

I’ve been busy studying for my midterms because as soon as they’re out of the way… I can resume studying for my national boards!

Cooper:

Valentine’s Day was this week, and I spent it with the lovely Raeanne Schlotterbeck. We exchanged candy and gift items on Tuesday, and we will be going on a real date this weekend. Conflicting schedules dictated our plans for us. We will be be eating and then seeing The Vow this Sunday. While I’ve heard nothing but terrible things about the film, I’m sure I’ll endure it. It’s all for love, after all!

 

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing an acoustic version of his song, "Remember to Breathe" in a video available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.  All art, logos, and titles copyright Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, and Grace at Arms.

Remember to Breathe lyrics:

I looked up, dropped my jaw to my expectations.
I forgot I’d forgotten my limitations.
I lost footing in my shifting mentality.
“Hello, can I get an… umm… Can I get a look in your eyes?
Can you help me with this–help me, it’s the look in your eyes.
I’d never seen–you see–but I see you and me.”

’cause I’m lost. I don’t care where I am as long as I
I’ve waited for someone to break me down to who I am
And question why I’ve held on to all this pain
When I knew someday I’d find all I’ve found in you.

I sit up. Did I really spend my dreaming time living last night?
’cause I can’t believe that I’d even stumbled into your sight.
You’re like a glacier racing for my hard disbelief.
I don’t know what to do ’cause I’m not used to being here in this role.
I thought I was doomed to be the leader; doomed to endless control
But I would follow you anywhere.

’cause I’m lost I don’t care where I am as long as I
I’ve waited for someone to break me down to who I am
And question why I’ve held on to all this pain
When I knew someday I’d find all I’ve found in you.

All I’ve found in you
All I’ve found in you
All I’ve found in you
Ooh, in you…

I see you standing in your robe of self conscious need
Like a shining bright sparkling–breathe
I’ve got to breathe. I’ve got to remember to keep
Breathing when I look in your eyes.
I want to kiss your neck or touch your lips, I want to see your eyes
Or turn your back so I could nibble on your shoulders ’cause I can’t
Believe I can’t breathe, be, hear, see,
Laugh at me. Laugh at me. Laugh at me. Laugh at me.

I had so many words when you walked through the door
But they all feel so tiny when I’m holding them up to your smile
Makes me want to cry out and want to cry inside.
It hurts to see you looking so good that I can’t stop the words
’cause you deserve to hear and feel the roar here in my heart
When it’s close to yours, you’re close to me.

’cause I’m lost I don’t care where I am as long as I
I’ve waited for someone to break me down to who I am
And question why I’ve held on to all this pain
When I knew someday I’d find all I’ve found in you.

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If you just started following my V-Week blogs, I’m posting a video of myself performing a different cover song about love each of Monday through Thursday this week before posting a new original song on Friday. If you missed them, be sure to check out the other videos I’ve already posted:

1. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
2. “The One I Love” by David Gray
3. “Hold On” by Tom Waits
Or you can click here to go our YouTube page.

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.  Image is a screen capture from a video of said performance available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.

Doing things differently.

I’ve always considered similar experiences with different people to be completely different experiences. I make it a point to learn something from everyone I meet. Every time I’ve ever fallen in love has been the very first time.

This aspect of me is particularly fun when I meet new people because that new contact with an entire life’s worth of history, ideas, and attitudes provides so many opportunities to learn, to grow, and to explore.

I’ve had the good fortune of meeting a lot of new people lately, but one particularly interesting girl is an avid reader with a deep appreciation for vocabulary and its ability to not only describe but to shape our feelings. Since I feel like the pursuit of such powerful words are core to writing, I was shocked to find out that she’d never attempted to write a story or poem in her life!

The combined excitement of writing poetry and exploring her brain overwhelmed me and I declared that I would help her write her first poem. Her nervousness was dwarfed only by her certainty that she was going to make a fool of herself, but her vast experience with written language and her natural empathy and intelligence quickly silenced all doubt as she accidentally wrote her first poem–a simple, elegant, free-verse description of her appreciation for books–in a matter of minutes (she was actually just organizing her thoughts when I noticed that her notes were already poetry)!

Moved by her willingness to share such an (in my mind important) experience with me, and without a fourth song for this series, I offered to learn a song of her choice. Moved by her bravery, I decided that I was going to perform and record this song in a very different way from any I’d done before.

She chose “Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls.

I built this:

A collection of microphones and light fixtures arranged by Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) in his living room in Valhalla to be used in the filming of Bastion's performance of "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.  A video of said performance is available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.

Change of plans…

My original idea was to film myself playing several instruments and then layer the audio files in the way that I do when recording albums. I would then splice the video clips together to create a little tapestry. Here are some screen shots from the video-gathering:

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.  Image is a screen capture from a video of said performance available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.  Image is a screen capture from a video of said performance available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing "Iris" by the Goo Goo Dolls.  Image is a screen capture from a video of said performance available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.

Unfortunately, a headache and a soul-deep hatred for iMovie later, I realized that it would take dozens of hours to complete the project given my lack of professional video editing software and iMovie’s lack of anything you might ever want in a video editing program.

Salvage!

Fortunately, I was so proud of my lights-and-mics rig, that I left it up while I was trying to mix the videos. As soon as I realized the plans needed to change, I charged off and recorded a single-take version of Iris… with a really awesome background.

“Iris” by the Goo Goo Dolls

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the love!  You can also find Grace at Arms on iTunes, Facebook, or graceatarms.com!  You can also find Grace at Arms’ singer, Bastion on Facebook, Twitter, and at his original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion!  Don’t forget to pick up your t-shirts and other gear at graceatarms.com/alive2012!

If you just started following my V-Week blogs, I’m posting a video of myself performing a different cover song about love each of Monday through Thursday this week before posting a new original song on Friday. If you missed them, be sure to check out the other videos I’ve already posted:

1. “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
2. “The One I Love” by David Gray
Or you can click here to go our YouTube page.

And now it’s time for some Tom Waits action…

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (Grace@Arms) in Tom Waits-esque attire performing his version of Tom Waits' song, "Hold On."  Image is a screen capture from said video performance, which is available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.

Hold on… Tom Waits?

Those of you who’ve been to our acoustic concerts know that my version of Hold On differs drastically from the original. Tom Waits’ version of the song is what I would call “texture music.” He blends instruments and vocals into a beautifully complex sound that breathes slowly from the beginning to the end of the song. My version, on the other hand, simplifies the music into a more rock feel, which in turn puts a greater focus on Tom’s absolutely incredible lyrics.

The other significant change I’ve made to the original is in the third verse. In the original version, Tom sings, “St. Louis got the best of me.” I don’t know what the line means, but I have to assume that it relates to a personal experience. I don’t think that singing a line I don’t understand in any way preserves the heart of the song, so I have changed the line to “Phoenix stole the soul from me,” which relates a personal experience of my own, thereby preserving both the cryptic nature of the line in the audience’s ears and maintaining the level of personal investment on the part of the artist.

Love: Romantic and Otherwise

The story told in “Hold On” obviously includes plenty of romance and heartbreak, but the instance of love which I find most moving is of an entirely different kind.

I recorded the vast majority of Chrysalis myself, did all of the editing and mixing myself, and put more than one hundred hours into the album art. I spent my entire life savings (and then some) publishing Chrysalis and am solely responsible for marketing it. I wrote every note of every instrument on that CD. I wrote both Believe and No Way Home as alternatives to suicide. I literally have more hours in Chrysalis than in college and law school combined.

The end result of all of this work, however, is little more than a prayer. Chrysalis is my outstretched palm. Its value comes from the connection that it makes with listeners–when people play my songs and for a moment, their hearts connect with mine.

Today, people tell me about them and it moves me to no end. Now, when I take the stage and feel the hearts of the audience. When I was putting in the vast majority of those long, painful hours, though, there was nobody listening. There was no connection, no validation, and no music. All I had was hope and the song inside my head.

The second half of the fourth verse of “Hold On” sings the story of that experience in a way so moving that I’ve never been able to sing it without throwing my entire heart into it. There’s certainly a story of romance in this song, but what I find most moving is this short story about my heart:

But it’s so hard to dance that way; when it’s cold and there’s no music. Your old hometown’s so far away, but inside your head, there’s a record playing a song called ‘Hold On.’

Hold On, by Tom Waits

 

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the love!  You can also find Grace at Arms on iTunes, Facebook, or graceatarms.com!  You can also find Grace at Arms’ singer, Bastion on Facebook, Twitter, and at his original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion!  Don’t forget to pick up your t-shirts and other gear at graceatarms.com/alive2012!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If you just started following my V-Week blogs, I’m posting a video of myself performing a different cover song about love each of Monday through Thursday this week before posting a new original song on Friday. If you missed it, be sure to watch the first video of the series, my cover of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley!

Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) playing acoustic guitar at Valhalla.  This image is a screen capture from a video of Bastion Crider performing "The One I Love" by David Gray in February 2012 which is currently available at http://youtube.com/graceatarms.

David Gray Today:

I chose the song, “The One I Love,” by David Gray, to be today’s post because the song has held great significance in my life, but because I feel it to be a particularly meaningful and undistracted statement of love.

While it’s not clear what exactly has happened to the singer, the song seems to take place in his dying moments. He stops and begins to fade as the world whispers on by him and he watches his love dance away from him forever. The concept is obviously moving, but what makes this stand out in my mind is that the singer doesn’t have to be singing a love song.

I LOVE. Oh, would you like me to add your name to the end of that sentence?

It’s so easy to mimic love that we frequently accept excuses and emotional rushes in lieu of the real thing. Heartbreak songs are a good example. It hurts to get dumped. You don’t have to love the person dumping you. You don’t even have to like them, but you’re going to experience at least some feelings of loneliness, abandonment, and rejection.

Similarly, it’s easy to talk about love when you’re particularly happy. You love feeling great so if someone is making you feel great, it’s easy to reassign the feelings.

This moment is mine alone, but I’m going to live it for you.

What I find so different about this song is that the singer is exploring a moment that is entirely his. He’s not trying to find a way to fill a void or assign a cause to his current happiness.

He has his entire life present in his mind for a few final seconds. He could look back over his achievements, mourn his failures, confess his secrets, or ask forgiveness for his sins. He is entirely free to roam his life without consequence or direction.

Instead of all these things, though, he chooses to spend his final seconds loving her.

The One I Love

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the love!  You can also find Grace at Arms on iTunes, Facebook, or graceatarms.com!  You can also find Grace at Arms’ singer, Bastion on Facebook, Twitter, and at his original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion!  Don’t forget to pick up your t-shirts and other gear at graceatarms.com/alive2012!

An image of Bastion Crider of Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) with his guitar taken on February 10, 2012.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, which for those like me who are perpetually single, is utterly irrelevant. This year, though, two things happened to me that inspired a little project:

1. One of the discs in my spine exploded [the story: parts 1 and 2], drastically increasing the amount of time I spend sitting still each day.

2. I was asked to play some love songs at a fund raiser for a local theater.

In the wake of these two events, I found myself sitting still in front of my computer for hours on end with several love songs fresh in my mind. Suddenly, an idea came to me! I turned on my webcam, and I started playing.

The Plan:

I’ve recorded four cover songs, which I’ll post on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I also filmed my new song, Remember to Breathe, which we’ve played at a few concerts now but which has yet to see a recorded version. I’ll be posting Remember to Breathe as my From the Band Friday video this week!

So, without further ado, the first of these love songs, originally performed by Elvis Presley,

Can’t Help Falling In Love

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any of the love!  You can also find Grace at Arms on iTunes, Facebook, or graceatarms.com!  You can also find Grace at Arms’ singer, Bastion on Facebook, Twitter, and at his original blog at graceatarms.com/bastion!  Don’t forget to pick up your t-shirts and other gear at graceatarms.com/alive2012!

It’s Friday so it’s time for another From the Band Friday!  Here’s what the boys from GRACE@ARMS have to say!

Bastion:

Our friend, John (of Swagtree Productions), came to our concert last Friday (which rocked–big thanks to all our fans who showed up) and filmed us playing some songs!  We’re refining the video footage now, but in the mean time, here are a few video captures I managed to pull from the footage!

Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing at Birdy's Bar and Grill in Indianapolis on January 27, 2012.  Image captured from film footage by John Sweigart III.  All images, art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright 2012, Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, Grace at Arms.

Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing at Birdy's Bar and Grill in Indianapolis on January 27, 2012.  Image captured from film footage by John Sweigart III.  All images, art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright 2012, Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, Grace at Arms.

Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing at Birdy's Bar and Grill in Indianapolis on January 27, 2012.  Image captured from film footage by John Sweigart III.  All images, art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright 2012, Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, Grace at Arms.

Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing at Birdy's Bar and Grill in Indianapolis on January 27, 2012.  Image captured from film footage by John Sweigart III.  All images, art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright 2012, Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, Grace at Arms.

Grace at Arms (GRACE@ARMS) performing at Birdy's Bar and Grill in Indianapolis on January 27, 2012.  Image captured from film footage by John Sweigart III.  All images, art, logos, and "I CAME HERE TO ROCK" copyright 2012, Bastion Crider, Greg Crider LLC, Grace at Arms.

Milo:

With another awesome experience playing at Birdy’s under our belts, 2012 is off to an excellent start!  It was great seeing all of you.  Your feedback has been appreciated.  We take this information into consideration when preparing our upcoming set lists.  Contact us via Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc. with your comments!

Cooper:

Sometimes you sit down to play a song and you come up with something entirely different.

At last night’s concert (thanks to everyone who made it out!), I recited a new poem to musical accompaniment.  It’s called “A Love Poem For Ghosts” and, while some of you have seen it on my Facebook page or our YouTube page, I wanted to provide you with the back-story and the lyrics!

What if we never fell in love?

I was thinking about that question that couples always seem to ask each other a year or two into the relationship.  “If things had been different, would we have ever known what we were missing?  What if so-and-so hadn’t introduced us?  What if you had been born three years earlier?  Would we still have this connection?”

What if we fell in love?

I was thinking about this from the other direction, though.  How many people in my life might I have connected with if some slight circumstance (distance, age, past decisions, present circumstances, etc.) had been different?  Might there have been love between any of us, had it ever had the chance to be activated?

What if we we can find love without falling in?

Then I realized that this wasn’t necessarily a “what if” question.  In so many cases, that love already exists–just not in the romantic sense which we normally picture. Maybe it’s a common interest, a kiss, a conversation, or just a passing glance, but sometimes, I think you can detect that connection.  Even though two people might be separated by miles or years or circumstances or decisions, their hearts might not be that far apart.

I started collecting “love fragments” from throughout my life.  I gathered everything that never amounted to a love song, but that I had wanted to say or meant to say to people but had failed to articulate. What I’ve enjoyed about this poem is that when I put all the disjoint pieces together, they actually form a story that isn’t only coherent, but is actually familiar–maybe it’s the story of each of those diverse little shards of love.

In another life, this would be so many “I love you”‘s, but for now, it’s my love poem for ghosts.

“A Love Poem For Ghosts”

I wish I had the words
That could make you understand.
I wish you could look at me
And see a better man.
Sometimes at night I wake
And lift up my arms,
Singing songs about your grace
To the beat of my heart.
When I hear your voice again,
My darkest days are saved
’cause every time you say my name,
You make me feel brave.
It’s been so long since I
Have watched the stars collide
Because the heavens could never dance
Like you did in my eyes.
There’re worlds between our lives
But lying here on the floor,
The distances between;
They don’t matter anymore.
There’re miles between our homes,
But if you pull me close,
Only inches between our hearts…
And our lips can bridge those.